Final Fantasy XIV Paladin/Gladiator Beginner Tank Guide

I’ve spent a few weeks playing Final Fantasy XIV and this is an MMORPG game that is very accessible for aspiring new Tanks. The ARR story is long and a bit of a grind but the positive side of it is the way you are introduced to content at a good pace. You enter some of the older, easier content and you are given the opportunity to learn your class and develop your Tank skills.

In this guide I am going to show you a quick guide on how to play the Gladiator which later converts into a Paladin and show you from a beginner level how to play it. In future guides we’ll show you more information on how to play this class at higher levels and include the other Tank classes Warrior, Dark Knight and Gunbreaker.

Need help? Join The Tank Club Discord

UI Setup

The first 2 things you need to think about are your hotkeys and your HUD.

I’ve not fully customised my HUD yet but one thing I have done is started off by using 3 bars. This is because at the start you have very few abilities but once you start pushing level 90 you’ll have a lot of abilities you need to slot so I wanted to get used to it as soon as possible.

Secondly I moved my enemy list so it’s more visible for me, you’ll need this to be accessible and the way this works is it will name all enemies you’re in combat with.

  • If they have a green icon next to their name, you don’t have the aggroed.
  • Orange means you almost have them aggroed or they are losing aggro
  • Red means then are locked onto you.

For my bar setup I have one with my long cooldowns/activation skills, one bar with my rotation and combo skills and then my damage mitigation bar.

Dungeon Tanking

Entering into your first dungeon – usually a stressful thing in most MMORPG games but not really in Final Fantasy 14.

The first thing you need to do in EVERY dungeon is turn on your Stance. For a Gladiator this is Iron Will.

You have to do it every time because you quickly out level the content in this game and dungeons will scale you down to a specific level at the start and this turns off your stance every time. By doing this, it makes your life incredibly easier because enemies will aggro to you and maintain that aggro very easy if you turn this on.

The second most important thing is you have to turn the enemies away from your group in almost all situation especially at the beginning of the game.

Add Pulls

At the start of each dungeon you’ll get add pulls in between boss fights.

My preferred way to deal with these is to use my Shield Lob onto one of the enemies, this will instigate combat and all the enemies in that add pull usually get targeted to me.

Then I will use my AoE damage skill Eclipse to get a hit on them all and to ensure I have aggro.

Next you want to pop a mitigation skill – these have long cooldowns so the idea is to spread them out. I use Reprisal on the first add pull, then on the second one I’ll use Rampart, by the 3rd pull my Reprisal will be available again so you want to rotate them each add pull.

Additionally, once you are a bit more comfortable and you have a decent healer, you can begin pulling 2-3 add pulls all together which means you might need to use both mitigation skills but you’ll clear all the adds in 1 pull. When you reach a higher level and do higher level dungeons you’ll also have access to more mitigation skills.

When I am pulling multiple adds together I always use my sprint skill, while I’m running I will target enemies in my enemy list who are starting to lose aggro and I’ll Shield Lob them, each add pull I hit my AoE skill and once everything is stacked I hit my mitigation skills and then spam my AoE damage. It’s also important to try and point enemies away from your group and try to avoid all of the red AoEs you see on the ground.

Boss Fights

When we get to a boss things change a little bit because now you might only have one enemy to deal with.

I wait for my group to be close or in the boss area and I start off with a Provoke. I use this sparingly as a Tank because you often don’t need to use it but it can be helpful to force an enemy to target you, especially when you start doing 8 person trials in the future.

On a boss you want to maintain doing your damage combo rotation and this consists of Fast Blade followed by Riot Blade, now is also a good time to use Fight or Flight which increases your damage, you can use this during add pulls too if you’re not too busy.

I keep Low Blow on my bar because this works quite well for most bosses at the start when they do an AoE or channelled attack you can hit Low Blow to stun them and prevent them from doing it.

If you are on a boss fight where adds spawn, sometimes you’re not expected to aggro them all but the best way to do so is by using your enemy list and either Shield Lob or Provoke them to attack you.

Bosses are a bit different than adds pulls because you don’t want to waste all of your mitigation skills. There are things known as Tank Busters where you gain a red indicator around your character, this is telling you that a huge hit is about to happen and so you need to pop your mitigation skills at this point. Generally I will use Reprisal on cooldown on bosses and save my Rampart for Tank busters.

Outside of this you simply need to learn and play mechanics, if you can’t Low Blow the enemy to stop an AoE attack then you walk out of it!